Archive - 2019

1
Inherited 401k plan
2
Financial planning for college: should you bother saving?
3
Spending on Little Luxuries Can Add Up…to More Happiness
4
The Earnings Test is Specific to the Individual
5
Fee-Only Financial Planners Have Independence

Inherited 401k plan

An inherited 401k plan isn’t necessarily a different kind of retirement plan from a regular 401k plan in the hands of the original participant. However, the rules around an inherited 401k plan are unusual enough to warrant their own review.

When an individual inherits a 401k plan, generally this individual must begin taking minimum distributions from the plan, on a preset schedule. There are a few things to consider, the first of which is whether the beneficiary is the spouse of the original owner, or another person (non-spouse).

If the beneficiary is a spouse, special options are available for handling …

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Financial planning for college: should you bother saving?

Nobody wants to pay for something, then watch someone less deserving who gets it for free. A dear friend recently raised this situation: are you a sucker for saving, while somebody else spends freely and their kid gets more money from a college?

I’ll give a very qualified yes to this—there are a few situations where it doesn’t pay (very much, at least) to save for college. Let’s say you make under $75,000 a year and have no investments beyond retirement accounts. Your family probably will qualify for some serious financial aid, and would get less if you saved into …

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Spending on Little Luxuries Can Add Up…to More Happiness

In “The Personal Finance Industry is a Scam,” a writer for GQ discusses her thoughts on why “Suze Orman’s rant against coffee is the latest in cable-news advice that puts the blame for an increasingly unequal financial system on individuals.”

The writer recalled meeting Orman years earlier as an unpaid intern saddled with heavy law school debt. Orman told her not to worry about the student loan did since it didn’t affect her credit score. The writer found this advice to be disappointing, as she was hoping to hear something that would help her get on firmer financial footing. …

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The Earnings Test is Specific to the Individual

This topic comes from a reader, J., who asks the following question:

My wife is 62 and she works a part-time job earning around $23k per year. She is planning to retire in June, and so her total earnings for the year will be approximately $11,500. She would like to begin taking Social Security benefits right after her retirement.

The question is this:  will her earnings test be based upon her “individual” earnings, or on the higher combined earnings of the two of us (I am still working, earning in excess of the earnings test amount)? Since her earnings of

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Fee-Only Financial Planners Have Independence

On July 4th, the United States celebrates its Independence Day. And if you remember anything from history class, you know that the United States did not complete the process of becoming independent all in a day. It took time but July 4th was chosen to mark the occasion after there was a vote for independence on July 2.

While the founding of NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) may not have had the same impact on the world stage as July 4th, things weren’t the same after a discussion about how to change things for the …

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